ISO 17025 Section 5.9.1 - Assuring Quality of Tests - Requirements

Tyranna

Involved In Discussions
#1
Hi,

I am seeking advise for what would qualify as meeting the requirement of this section given the following:

1. Small lab, limited staff performing testing only.
2. Multiple tests under lab scope of accreditation but only one proficiency test available to participate in?

What method would you lean towards given this is a non-commercial lab with limited resources; and

If one can participate in interlaboratory comparison - is that the same thing as participation in proficiency testing programs? (i.e. if the lab is accredited to 17025, but not registered as a proficiency testing lab, can that laboratory be utilized?)

Everything I find on-line refers to proficiency testing and not the other methods mentioned.

Thank you in advance for your insight.
 
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dwperron

Trusted Information Resource
#2
This has been a contentious subject in ISO 17025 circles. Section 5.9 is a bit vague (as you have discovered) and can be interpreted differently. Most accrediting bodies have realized this and set up their own requirements, you need to check with your AB to see what they will be looking for from you.

The good (?) news is the 2017 version of 17025, coming out, hopefully, later this year addresses this subject in greater detail and has more specific requirements and more options. In section 7.7.1 it now lists 11 possible methods of checking performance so there are more chances that one of these methods will be a good fit for your testing situation.

Section 7.7.2 requires that you either participate in proficiency testing or interlaboratory comparisons. You must compare yourself with outside entities - no more "internal" intercomparisons.

You are still going to have to come up with a method that works for you on each of the tests in your scope. There will be other labs in your same situation, often they work together in establishing an intercomparison program. Again, check with your accrediting body to be sure any program you choose is acceptable so you don't waste your time and money.
 

Tyranna

Involved In Discussions
#3
Thank you so much for your help, I have never liked auditing that section of the standard as it is vague and pretty much left open to interpretation.

Do you know where I can view a draft of the new standard?

Best regards!
 

dwperron

Trusted Information Resource
#4
You can purchase a copy from the ISO web site.
There are some other sites that have posted copies for public review.
 

Tyranna

Involved In Discussions
#5
:cool: I will visit the ISO site, I wasn't aware you could purchase copies of the draft!

You have been most helpful and I do appreciate it.
 
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